Best Flower Bed Ideas
When you’ve got some space in your yard that looks a little empty and lonely, consider that cry for help to be a great spot to start a flower bed. Don’t panic—they don’t have to be super finicky high maintenance areas that will take up all your free time! There are so many options that give you lots of beauty for very little time investment. Here’s 7 things to remember. We’ve found them to be the best flower bed ideas ever!
- Determine your zone. This is critical. If you live in Zone 4 and plant things only hardy to zone 7, you’ll be wasting your time and money. To determine your zone, visit this site: (http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/phzmweb/interactivemap.aspx) See how much sun the area gets. That’s key to which flowers will be successful. Flowers that need sun just won’t do well in a shady area, and shade flowers will burn up in too much sun.
- Check the soil. Too much of anything will encourage weeds and prevent your flowers from flourishing. You will probably want to add some compost and other organic material to give your flowers the best start they can get.
- Formal or Informal- What kind of look are you going for? Get ideas online and from your neighbors. Island flower beds (open on all sides) can have round, kidney, square or freeform shapes—use your imagination! Typically, if your bed backs up against a structure, you will put the tallest plants in the back, up against the structure. If your bed is an island, you will want to place plants so you’ll have interest all the way around. Remember to allow for access to these plants-your reach is typically about 3-4 feet.
- Life cycle and Cost. Perennials come back year after year, and have a higher initial cost. Annuals complete their life cycle in one year, and generally don’t return. They are less expensive to purchase initially, but need to be replenished each year. Bulbs typically return and spread over time. Herbs can make a great addition to a flower bed or can be alone in their own bed, but be careful with mints—they spread and take over! Best to save them for containers.
- Placement & Spacing. Flower beds tend to follow rules similar to decorating: group plants in odd numbers. Usually, 3, 5 or 7. Larger plants, shrubs or trees can stand alone, and often make great impact, just as a single large piece in an indoor display can make a statement. Do you want your flowers running together with very little space between, or do you want a more open feel? Both styles have their advantages, and it is largely a matter of personal preference. Either way, consider the full-grown size and account for that.
- Maintenance. Don’t forget to have plants that will give appeal all year long. That usually means some evergreens, but some plants provide interest through their winter bark or berries. Also, a water feature or statue will command attention year-round. If you want low-maintenance, look for plants that don’t require deadheading (picking off the spent blooms), and flowers touted as “easy” or “low-maintenance.”
- Color. This is intimidating for some people, but it’s easier than you think! Remember to take into account the background (your house and any other structures or existing plants in your yard). What color are your shutters or your outdoor furniture? These give you clues to colors you like, and what colors you should choose for your flowers. You can do a monochromatic scheme—all one color, with varying heights and bloom times; complementary colors (color wheel opposites, like orange/blue); or analogous colors (color wheel neighbors, like orange/yellow). The foliage is a nice restful anchor and provides the backdrop for your flowers. When purchasing plants hold them next to each other, and imagine them in your flower bed. If they follow the “rules” but you don’t like it—don’t do it! Get what pleases you. And if you plant it and hate it—change it!
Flower beds can provide beauty, interest and a peaceful setting for your home’s exterior. Start planning now, and you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty in no time! Share these flower bed ideas with all your gardening friends.
Located in Summerfield, NC Southern Exposure Landscape Management specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of residential and commercial projects throughout the Greensboro Triad Area (High Point, Jamestown, Burlington, Reidsville, Oak Ridge, Brown Summit, Summerfield) With over 20 years in business, Southern Exposure has the experience and knowledge to create beautiful garden features and flower beds in the landscape. Southern Exposure is the leading landscape management firm in Greensboro, NC. See why our clients choose us. Contact us today by web (online form) or phone (336.451.4969)